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THIS fiendishly tricky optical illusion asks viewers to identify the hidden likeness between the two pears.

While the pieces of fruit appear to be a different colour, in truth they're far more alike than you think.

1These two pears are actually the same colourCredit: Lenstore

Despite one pear looking darker than the other underneath the black and white lines, they're both actually the same hue.

This mechanism is an example of a brightness illusion.

Similar visual puzzles have been around for over 100 years and follow a familiar pattern.

Typically, two identical objects are placed on a striped or graded background.

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The objects appear very different based on where they are placed against the background.

In June 2020, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology investigated the mechanism behind the illusions.

They showed that the phenomenon relies on a quirk in the way that our brains process what we see.

When we look at an image, we estimate the brightness of an object before visual information reaches the brain's visual cortex.

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It means that objects of the same colour can appear brighter or darker than they are based on the background they're presented on.

"All of our experiments point to the conclusion that this is a low-level phenomenon," MIT's Professor Pawan Sinha said at the time.

"The results help answer the question of what is the mechanism that underlies this very fundamental process of brightness estimation, which is a building block of many other kinds of visual analyses."

Optical illusions are often just a bit of fun, but they also hold real value for scientists.

The brain puzzles help researchers shed light on the inner workings of the mind and how it reacts to its surroundings.

 Dr Gustav Kuhn, a psychologist and human perception expert at Goldsmiths University in London, told the Sun in June that illusions are important to our understanding of the brain.

"We typically take perception for granted, and rarely think about the hard work that underpins everyday tasks, such as seeing a cup of coffee in front of you," he said.

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Tags: optical illusion actually the same optical illusion the same colour darker the background illusions the mechanism

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Can you spot the mountain lion ready to strike in creepy wildlife cam pic before it’s too late?

CAN you spot the mountain lion ready to strike in this wildlife cam pic?

Puzzlers might find it quite tricky to spot the big cat lurking in this image captured at the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.

4Can you spot the mountain lion ready to strike in this wildlife cam pic before it's too late?Credit: Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge

The US Fish & Wildlife Service shared the baffling picture in a Medium post.

The photo shows an elk surrounded by trees and rock formations.

While the elk is easy to spot, the mountain lion is more difficult.

A wildlife cam snapped the image in late 2019 and the park shared it on Facebook this month - challenging followers to find the hidden animal. 

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Park volunteer Dale Erz originally found the camouflaged mountain lion after noticing the predator in a later photo.

So he went back to check the earlier snap and discovered the big cat hiding out in the rocks.

Have you managed to find the sneaky kitty?

If you need a clue, follow the park's advice: "Start looking at the base of the tree that is at the far right of the picture.

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"Move a little left and down. The puma is hidden in the grass."

If you're really stumped, scroll down for the answer.

Meanwhile, you have the eyes of a hawk if you can spot the deer lurking in this forest scene.

And you can also test your eyesight by trying to find the slumbering cat comfortably nestled up in a picture full of logs in just 10 seconds.

4Did you manage to find the mountain lion?Credit: Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge 4A clearer view of the mountain lion in another cam snapCredit: Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge 4What happened between the two animals will remain a mysteryCredit: Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge

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